AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – She’s a mother, grandmother, wife, business leader, philanthropist and community volunteer.
JoAnn Herbert started her first career as a bank teller, and by the time she retired from banking, she was a vice president. And at that point, she was able to move into other things that were important to her, like fundraising and supporting local charities.
She is a part of her family business, Herbert Homes, and that allows her the time to be involved in the community and to give back. She volunteers on many different boards and has served as board chair of several different organizations, including SafeHomes and Women in Philanthropy for the CSRA.
In 2020, Herbert was named Columbia County’s Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year. She says one of her most fulfilling roles with the Chamber is being a mentor for Women on the Way.
“Well, for me, it’s a matter of seeing need. And when you see a need, and you can be part of an organization that fills that need to teach women their worth, to teach them how to navigate the community and their jobs at a very young age is absolutely phenomenal to me.”
“And I thought at first when they asked me to be a mentor for that group, I’m thinking. ‘Well, what does a woman of my age have in common with a 21-year-old?’ That’s my granddaughter’s age. And I found that they taught me as much as I taught them. And it was interesting because I learned to think like they thought. And maybe the way I did some things I could have done a little bit easier for myself had I known. So I think sharing life’s experiences and helping these young women, because what you want is, as they grow, you want them to give back to their community. You want them to be successful in whatever endeavor that they decide to go.”
Herbert is also passionate about her work with Women in Philanthropy of the CSRA. WIP started in Augusta back in 2008. The group awards grants to fund programs and projects that have the potential for high impact, resulting in significant positive change in the lives of women and children in Aiken, Burke, Columbia, Edgefield, McDuffie and Richmond Counties. Over the years, grant’s recipients have included: Rape Crisis, SafeHomes of Augusta, Augusta Locally Grown, Boys & Girls Club of the CSRA, Child Enrichment, Christ Community Health Services, theClubhou.se, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Nurture Home, Restart Augusta and many, many more.
“It’s all a volunteer organization. Our funds are held within the Community Foundation. So we are very well vetted in how we do what we do. But the more the membership can do and get new members in, that’s the more money that we give away. So we encourage women in the community, if you have the least bit of interest, you can always go to wipcsra.org and look at the website for Women in Philanthropy. You can look at, you probably know a member. Get in touch with someone. Let us explain to you what we do. We have 18 board members. We have 8 different groups. And so you can be as involved in as much of the organization as you want to be, or you can write us a check every year and you don’t have to do anything else- other than to come to our annual luncheon once a year to be able to vote!”